New CEO to assume total responsibility for group operations

The Southern Cross Engineering Group, one of New Zealand’s largest mechanical project engineering companies, has recently appointed Paul Thorn to the newly-created position of Chief Executive Officer, reporting to the Group’s Managing Director, Graeme McMaster. Paul has a Bachelor of Engineering degree with first class honours, majoring in Applied Mechanics, and is a graduate of the University of Technology, Sydney. He takes up his appointment from a former position as Auckland-based General Manager of Visy Recycling NZ Limited, where he held complete responsibility for strategic, financial and operational accountability.
Paul has had extensive experience in the corporate sector, both in New Zealand and overseas. He previously held various marketing, operational and manufacturing roles with Winstone Wallboards, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building, where he was primarily responsible for the retention of market share and development of growth strategies. Prior to that, an appointment as General Manager Operations for a Fletcher Challenge initiative in Chile saw him involved in evaluating the feasibility of a plaster and plasterboard business in that country. Paul is married, has three children and lists family activities, lifestyle farming and cycling as his recreational interests. He is a past member of the New Zealand Shipping Council and Shipping Federation.
“Taking on the role at SCE was driven by my personal desire to return, professionally, to a role that demanded the skills of my basic training in engineering,” said Paul Thorn. “It also required the leadership qualities that I had honed over many years of industrial experience within New Zealand and Australia. I wanted to help build and deliver useful, large scale solutions that solve real problems for real people. The SCE role offered that opportunity, particularly within an organisation that has had a long history; nearly 60 years of undertaking and solving such engineering problems. Everything from building sawmills and timber equipment as its mainstream service; to ship loaders, mining, quarrying and industrial processing equipment, SCE has done it and can do it all! All because of a pretty smart bunch of close-knit people who are more family than company. The clincher for me was the potential opportunity for ‘skin in the game’ in being involved with SCE. The immediate challenge is to gain the confidence of this smart bunch of people within the SCE Group and assure them that I can fill the shoes of the Ol’ Master, Graeme McMaster. In the longer term, I hope to see the Group diversify its client base beyond the traditional timber and sawmilling industries to other industries that require our skills, which will support our growth and shield us from specific industry economic cycles.”